Pruning Large Branches

Tree Care

Pruning big branches

To eliminate big branches, 3 or 4 cuts will probably be necessary to prevent tearing the bark. Make the very first cut on the underside of the branch about 18 inches from the trunk. Undercut one-third to one-half way through the branch.

Make the second cut an inch further out on the branch; cut until the branch breaks totally free
Prior to making the final cut severing a branch from the primary stem, determine the branch collar. The branch collar grows from the stem tissue around the base of the branch. Make pruning cuts to ensure that only branch tissue (wood on the branch side of the collar) is removed. Do not leave a stub. If the branch collar is left intact following pruning, the wound will seal much more successfully and stem tissue most likely won't decay.

The third cut may be made by cutting down through the branch, severing it. If, during the removal, there's a possibility of tearing the bark on the branch underside, make an undercut first and then saw through the branch.

Research has shown wound dressing isn't usually required on pruning cuts. Nevertheless, if wounds have to be covered to stop insect transmission or certain illnesses like oak wilt, use latex instead of oil-based paint.